Not another opinion piece on Covid or the impacts on society...I hear you thinking over your takeaway or homemade coffee. I hope that it's a good one! Nope - I want to talk about technology literacy.
Last week on LinkedIn I raised a topic on technology literacy and the disparity in the community. That got me thinking about how the legal profession can potentially help in creating the level of technology literacy within the community.
It's a fair assumption that Australia is online given the results of a pre-covid ABS Survey indicating that a minimum of 82% of households are online, the last 18 months would only increase those numbers with online education, and remote working.
Accountants as educators
The introduction of the GST and Business Activity Statements in 2000 was the change catalyst for many businesses to go digital. Accountants had a large role in educating their clients and helping with the change between paper and digital systems. One of the results being that Accounting firms were able to establish lines of revenue dealing with implementation, training, and support of accounting systems.
Lawyers role in digital education
With the significant change and upheaval in the last 18 months, there has been a necessity for law firms to become more digital and online. With innovations around e-conveyancing, online billing, wider legal acceptance of electronic signatures, use of portals, online forms/workflows, and collaboration platforms designed to make the life of clients and law firms easier.
Is there also an increased role that the law firm can play in educating clients around Lawtech and technology in general?
One example of firms offering formal technology training is Gilbert+Tobin with the SmartSkillsCPD platform and I am sure that there are other firms that do this too. As a client of law firms, having access to online training, a friendly person on the other end of the phone to assist with my lawtech questions only enhances my relationship with the firm.
Why educate clients?
So why would a law firm dedicate resources to training end clients in technology?
- Form closer relationships with clients which may lead to new matters and referrals
- Time saved by promoting clients to work the most efficient way
- Increase the return on investment on the client-focused technology that you have
- The ability to automate processes to productise more of your legal services
- Promotes alternative career paths for people in the practice with great technology and client-facing skills
Overall on a larger scale, it makes legal services more accessible and delivers a greater good to the community through the education provided.
I want to know more...
This article is written with the purpose of addressing technology literacy and how law firms can help. I'm interested in understanding more from the law firm side. Is technology education something that your firm would provide? How would you deliver that? What would the benefits be to your firm and your clients? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section or contact me via email@example.com